This week in the garden,

A few words about our work to encourage wildlife and bio-diversity in the gardens. We try to ensure natural processes in the garden including pollination of flowers, breaking down of compost, and a good supply of natural predators that eat up pests that are harmful to our plants.  All these creatures need to have suitable habitats so that they can live out their life cycle in the garden. Then wildlife can play its part in sustaining a balanced ecosystem and in making our garden more resilient. This is why we have a wildlife pond. The woodland too provides for specific insects through its dead hedge, bug hotel, and the stag beetle stack.

During the summer we created some new signs for the woodland. We will be putting one up this week which explains the life cycle of the stag beetle with these words and a great life-cycle diagram.

‘Stag beetles are one of our most spectacular insects, named because the male’s large jaws look just like the antlers of a stag. They spend most of their life, 3-5 years underground as larvae, only emerging for a few weeks in June to find a mate and reproduce. Stag beetles and their larvae are quite harmless and a joy to watch.  Adult males vary in size from 3.5cm – 7.5cm long and tend to be seen flying at dusk in the summer looking for a mate.’

The other sign will go beside the dead hedge and explain why this is an important habitat for wildlife. ‘A dead hedge is a boundary or barrier constructed from cut branches, foliage and saplings. Dead hedges are the most primitive and ancient form of hedging. They can be really important as windbreaks as well as being habitats for birds, hedgehogs and other wildlife. They are simple barriers made out of the least usable pieces of timber when an area was cleared.’

If you would like to read more about how can attract more wildlife to your garden follow this link

Other jobs we will be doing this week include weeding the pond and removing the duckweed from the water’s surface using a sieve, as well as thoroughly weeding the front borders and preparing them for mulching.

In other BPCG news,

Our squashes are all ripening beautifully.  We also have a pile of fabulous ornamental gourds in the back room of the upper greenhouse.  They are all getting ready for our SQUASH ROAST UP lunch on Saturday September 29th 1pm, part of a Lambeth and London wide Celebration of Urban Food Growing in Urban Food Fortnight.

We are looking for some helpers for the Squash Roast Up!  to help out with
* cooking  * setting tables and chairs up * serving food * clearing up * selling plants and produce
If you think you can help out from 10am onwards, please get in touch by replying to this email. Helpers of course don’t buy a £3 ticket.

And if you have little ones, (and might not be able to help out as a consequence!) do bring them to this lovely workshop Helen is running ‘Squash-I Monsters’. It’s from 11am to 1pm just before our lunch on Saturday 29th September,   And then you can stay on for the lunch afterwards by booking here

Wonderful news!  You may remember Vron Harris’s beautiful film Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter was shortlisted for the video category of Earth Photo a competition run by the Forestry Commission England and the Royal Geographical Society.  Well she won it!  Read more about it here and see the film here.

Don’t forget that our AGM is on Sunday September 30th at 2pm at the Greenhouses. Everyone is welcome to attend.  It’s a great chance to find out more about the charity, to meet volunteers, staff and trustees, to discuss BPCG’s past, present and future and importantly, to eat cake!

Any bakers out there, please feel free to bring along cake or biscuits to the AGM!  Please let Kate know if you plan to do this by replying to this email.  Thanks!